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Archive for August, 2008

Policies That Won’t Put A Dent In Your Wallet

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In my 29 years as a health insurance broker, I have viewed, and subsequently recommended many health insurance plans. Each situation is different and, obviously, affordability issues play a big part in the decision-making process.

However, there are many available health insurance plans that are quite affordable, compared to other options. For this example, I am basing the rates on a healthy nonsmoking 35-year old male living in the Columbus area. Premiums provided are monthly…

$42  Aetna Preventive and Hospital Care 3000 ($3000 Ded.)

$47  Anthem Blue Access Value ($5000 Ded.)

$52  Anthem Lumenos HSA ($5000 Ded.)

$55  Anthem Blue Access Value ($3000 Ded.)

$63  Anthem Blue Access Value ($2000 Ded.)

$65  Aetna PPO 5000 ($5000 Ded.)

$77 Medical Mutual Standard 2500 ($2500 Ded.)

All of these policies offer some level of office visit coverage without having to meet a deducible. Naturally, pre-existing conditions may increase the rate.

 

UPDATE October 2011 –  I deleted an Aetna and Anthem plan since they are no longer offered. Also…under national health care reform, preventive benefits are now covered at 100% on most plans. And of course, the rates that you see in this blog post are a few years old so rates have increased. Not too much, though. You can still click on the “Get Instant Quote” button and you”ll view current rates and plans.

UPDATE: November 2014 – Incredibly, this article was written 6 1/2 years ago. Our kids were in junior high school (they both go to Ohio State now), and the price of gas? Actually, it probably was about what it is now.

But all of the policies mentioned in this article are gone. It’s possible that a few may still be in-force if they are “grandfathered,” but most have been replaced by new Exchange policies. All policies are now much more regulated federally, instead of by each state. Coverage is much better now, but if you don’t qualify for federal financial aid (in the form of a subsidy), your premium won’t be cheap.

Don’t Trust Every “Low Cost” Medical Plan

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 Dont Trust Every Low Cost Medical PlanI don”t know about you, but when I see the term “low cost,” I immediately assume the product is of very little use and limited quality. And when I see the Infomercial king Billy Mays pitching a health insurance policy…well…I know there”s something wrong. And there is.

The policy he”s peddling is like Swiss cheese. Full of holes…and full of something else as well! Consider these policy provisions on the 1100 Series policy:

$100 application fee. Sorry…but you NEVER should pay an application fee.
Only $1000 of surgery coverage per year. Seriously…I”m not kidding!
Limit of $20 per blood test of lab test.
Limit of $220 for an MRI.
Only $1100 of your hospitalization charges are covered per year.
Anesthesia charges limited to $250 per surgery (that”s about 10 minutes, folks!).
NO outpatient surgery coverage.
Inpatient hospital expenses such as lab work, blood tests, medications etc…are NOT covered!

Ohio Rates

And it keeps getting better! For Ohio residents, the cost is NOT $50 per month, as you might expect. Try $159 per month and a whopping $269 per month for an entire family. That’s a lot more than you expect to pay for an “inexpensive” healthcare plan.

At those prices, you should get a food dehydrator, a knives and cutlery set, a pasta maker, a pocket fisherman and an autographed picture of Lebron James. In fact, now that Lebron is back home playing for Cleveland again, perhaps a pair of season tickets should be thrown n the deal.

Granted, this plan is a little better than the dreaded “discount plans” that have flooded the market. But, there are many inexpensive major medical health insurance plans that are a much better option than Billy”s overpriced product.

Better Alternatives

A few of these options include UnitedHealthCare”s Copay Saver plans, Anthem”s Value plans and Aetna”s Value plans.

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) would also be a much better alternative to may of these infomercial-style health plans. An HSA gives you major medical health coverage at an extremely affordable rate. Although most expenses are subject to a deductible, you will receive network-negotiated discounts and in some cases, preventive coverage at little or no out-of-pocket cost. There are also tax advantages to many HSA policyholders.

To be eligible for a Health Savings Account, an individual must be covered by a HSA-qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and must not be covered by other health insurance that is not an HDHP.

You are only allowed to have automobile, dental, vision, disability and long-term care insurance at the same time as an HDHP. You may also have coverage for a specific disease or illness as long as it pays a specific dollar amount when the policy is triggered. Wellness programs offered by your employer are also permitted if they do not pay significant medical benefits.

To view high quality Ohio health insurance plans, please click on the “Get Instant Quote” button at the top of the page.

UPDATES:

June 2009 – Sadly, Billy Mays passed away yesterday. I know we”ll all miss him.

September 2010 – I still miss Billy, but not info-commercials! There are a lot of medical discount plans still being peddled and most of them are still not worth the paper they”re printed on.

October 2014 – Billy Mays, is of course, still gone. But LeBron is back and the NBA season starts next week! Regarding these untrustworthy healthcare plan pitches on TV…they’re all gone. With the passage of the ACA legislation, the market for those types of policies dried up since many consumers now qualify for a federal subsidy.

Ohio News – Not Insurance Related, But Still Interesting!

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 Ohio News   Not Insurance Related, But Still Interesting!

I wonder if he’s insured by Anthem…

Singh Wins…Finally!

Fijian Vijay Singh has edged out England’s Lee Westwood and Australia’s Stuart Appleby to win the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio.

 

Ohio Inmate Claims He Is Too Big To Execute

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An inmate scheduled for execution in October says he’s so fat that Ohio executioners would have trouble finding his veins and he might not be properly anesthetized.

Lawyers for Richard Cooey argue in a federal lawsuit that Cooey had poor veins when he faced execution five years ago and that the problem has been worsened by weight gain.

 

New Ohio Lottery Game

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Bars, restaurants and liquor stores were scheduled on August 4th to start a statewide lottery game that officials hoped would offset projected budget deficits.

Ohio scheduled its Keno lottery game to start at 11:04 a.m. and planned it to repeat four minutes apart, 221 times a day, seven days a week. The state follows about a dozen other states with the bingo-like game, which, unlike many other lottery games, gives almost instant satisfaction – or disappointment.  

Buckeyes Defeat Penn State But J.T. Barrett Hurt

12th-ranked Ohio State beat Penn State Saturday 31-24 in two overtimes. But they did get a little help from the officials. Technical difficulties in the replay booth and a blown call helped OSU to 10 points that they badly needed. Barrett also suffered a sprained MCL, although he should be able to play the next game.

Since Michigan State is the opponent in two weeks, it is possible Barrett will rest next week vs. Illinois, or attempt to keep his running and scrambling to a minimum.

Ohio Board Of Education Walkout

The State Board of Education is considering proposed changes to curriculum standards that could potentially  eliminate physical education, music and library teachers. Five out of eight specialist positions are required per every 1,000 students in elementary schools.

Some Board members point out that flexibility is important since each school system may have completely different needs and budget issues that nay not allow the hiring they would like. Several Board members actually walked out of the meeting.
 

UPDATES:

October 27 2014 – It’s certainly news, although it’s rather old news! I added a recent  update to the end of the article. Typically, for obvious reasons, this blog  covers healthcare topics in the Buckeye state. However, we created this page to deviate a bit. There was no specific reason, but we will keep the content current!